A new calibration method for a photoelastic modulator is proposed. The calibration includes a coarse calibration and a fine calibration. In the coarse calibration, the peak retardation of the photoelastic modulator is set near
. In the fine calibration, the value of the zeroth Bessel function is obtained. The zeroth Bessel function is approximated as a linear equation to directly calculate the peak retardation. In experiments, the usefulness of the calibration method is verified and the calibration error is less than
. The calibration is immune to the intensity fluctuation of the light source and independent of the circuit parameters. The method specially suits the calibration of a photoelastic modulator with a peak retardation of less than a half-wavelength.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
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